Pig hunters are defined as those who enter the outdoors with the intention to hunt wild pigs with the use of trained hunting dogs. This is a style of pig hunting widely utilised in New Zealand. New Zealand pig hunters hunt using methods unique to catching pigs with dogs, often ending up in thick vegetation and challenging terrain.
Pig hunters appear to have a very good safety record right up until a pig has been ‘bailed’ or caught by their dogs. Nearly all pig hunting fatalities occurred as a result of a hunter trying to reach their dogs. Elevated adrenaline and the urgency to reach their dogs / the pig seems to greatly increase the rate of injury, getting lost and fatality. There are times where pig hunters are taking additional risks that they normally wouldn’t consider doing, or may have managed differently in hindsight.
A key learning from our research is that pig hunters should be particularly aware of their emotional response and adrenaline levels when they catch a pig. It’s wise to remember that the ‘bailed pig’ scenario is a high octane, high-risk arena often in close quarters. Any endeavour to calmly make logical level-headed decisions is likely to dramatically reduce the likelihood of a serious incident
Department of Conservation - Find out more about the species you are targeting, the permits you need and much more here.
NZ Police - Information on the Arms Code and licensing here.
14% of injuries to pig hunters are from dog or pig bites.– A Hunter's Tale, 2017
The first thing to remember is that every trip needs a plan. It doesn't take much to turn a short walk into an 'unexpected night out' in the bush. If you've planned before you hit the track using the outdoor safety code as a guide, there's a good chance you'll be prepared to handle an unexpected turn of events.
Safety is the outcome of good planning and good decision making– Mike Daisley, MSC CEO
The vast majority of firearms related incidents can be traced back to one or many of the firearms safety code not being followed. Regardless of how experienced you are following the firearms safety code is essential to the safety of you and your fellow hunters.
Don't hesitate to call your mates out if they're not handling their firearm safely. Safety is everyone's responsibility.
Developed by the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council (MSC) 'A Hunter's Tale' represents the most comprehensive exploration of hunting participation and incidents in New Zealand. Building on the success of There and Back (2016) this publication represents the first in a series of comprehensive ‘deep dives’ and explores hunting and firearms safety through the presentation of key insights. A Hunter's Tale focusses on trends in participation, hunting related injuries, search and rescues as well as fatalities. The data presented in this document provides a comprehensive evidence base that clearly identifies what is going wrong for hunters in the New Zealand outdoors.
Pig hunters are 6x as likely to sustain a bite from a pig or a dog– A Hunter's Tale, 2017
32% of searches for pig hunters are in the Waikato– A Hunter's Tale, 2017
Three of the five pig hunting fatalities (06/07 - 06/16) are from drowning– A Hunter's Tale, 2017
Nearly all pig hunting fatalities occurred while the hunter was trying to reach their dogs.– A Hunter's Tale, 2017
Take a first aid kit that is geared around stopping blood.
Take a breath and calmly make level-headed decisions when getting to a bailed pig.
This guide has been developed to help you plan your trip. It's available to read and download for FREE. To read click on the image below.
We've also produced a TeReo version available here.
New Zealand weather is very changeable. Even if you set out in the sunshine and there is no rain in the forecast it's not uncommon to have an isolated shower. Make sure you take rain protection and extra layers you can put on if it gets cold. Having the right supplies means that you're more likely to remain warm, comfortable and safe for the duration of your trip.
Wear the right fabrics. Clothing only retains what heat your body produces. Certain fabrics wick moisture away from the body and retain warmth. Avoid cotton clothing – when cotton gets wet it ceases to insulate you. Wet and cold clothing significantly contributes to hypothermia.
There are a few safety essentials you should have with you (or tick off the list) when you're out hunting
Tell someone your plans before you go and take a communication device
MSC Press Releases
Explore our insights
Read Outdoor Safety Code
Find out more
Department of Conservation - You can find out more about the species you are targeting, the permits you need and much more here.
NZ Police - Understand more about firearms safety, getting licensed and the rules here.
Walking Access Permission - Learn about getting access to private land and the key things you need to do before you go here.